I hit my gym tonight and during the course of getting in a kick ass workout, I engaged in conversation with a friend who is fairly new to weight training. We discussed how strength training becomes a part of a healthy lifestyle and how despite the fact she is becoming strong and knows most all the mechanics behind her lifting, she has not yet reached that point where the lifestyle of lifting has fully enveloped her, how she is almost there, but not quite fully in the groove of the routine being a part of her being. There comes a point where all that comes with being a serious strength trainer just falls into place. Obviously, the newbie questions will all but disappear, but it is more than that. It is where the mechanics of lifting, nutrition and rest all fall into thier respective places with no wrenches getting jammed into the cogs. The gears rotate smoothly with perfect timing in order for the lifting lifestyle to all fall into place naturally.
How’s this relate to weight maintenance?
In the world of weight loss, the issue of losing weight and then maintaining after you have reached goal is similar to getting in the groove of weight training in that weight management has to become an integral part of a well oiled lifestyle. You have to understand the mechanics of weight management by learning not to just control your appetite and recognizing your trigger foods, but also you owe it yourself and the efforts you expended in reaching your goal weight to have a better understanding of the human body and nutrition. If you are an emotional or stress eater, you owe it to yourself to learn to control those emotions and stress, otherwise you will regain your weight. You have to get your mind wrapped around a lifetime commitment to maintenance and be prepared to leave the struggle of losing behind.
I know there are many who do great work at losing their body fat, their motivation flies high, and then they hit goal and fall on their face, lost, not knowing what their next step is supposed to be. Next thing you know, they have gained back that 10, 20, 30 or 60 pounds they lost. The world is full of yo- yo dieters, and I have read over the years that an individual may actually be healthier to remain obese over losing weight and then regaining that weight over and over. According to Health News NPR those who yo-yo diet double their chance of heart attack, stroke or death when there are already issues with the heart. As in strength training where an intelligent new lifter learns all they can about techniques, nutrition, rest and routines, a person who sets out on a weight loss regimen needs to learn all the ins and outs of the what’s and whys behind their actions. This is critical in being able to maintain your weight after reaching goal and in not compromising your health. When you begin a journey to lose weight, you need to be intelligent and set forth a long term goal with many short term goals in how to get there. Those long term goals need to be solid and with sound reasoning. As in serious strength training, you owe it to yourself to ensure your plan is well thought out and makes perfect sense to carry you for the rest of your life. You want to avoid a strength training plan where you are going to do a dozen variations of curls in order to one day be able to stand on a Bosu ball with barbell on your back and then squatting. Yeah, there are uninformed people blindly doing this in gyms across the country under instruction from their trainers, don’t be that individual. Not with weights, not with your weight loss.
Yes, be realistic on creating a lifestyle of healthy eating which begins before you ever get to goal. Be sure to consume a well rounded diet where you receive all the nutrients required for a healthy body. Do not fall for the fad diets and think for a second that you can use a fad in order to lose weight and then be able to keep it off. Avoid the prepackaged meals they sell on television such as NutriSystem, Slim4Less etc… Learn to cook wholesome and nutritious meals where you get a sufficient variety of all your macronutrients. Educate yourself in how to ensure that you consume all the proper proteins in order to supply your body with all the amino acids required for your body to build it’s own proteins. With a decent amount of understanding your bodies nutritional needs you can avoid loss of lean muscle and physical problems which come from malnutrition. Yes my friends, even with the abundance of food we enjoy in western nations, we still have a lot of folks suffering malnutrition. You bet, you can be obese and suffering malnutrition as a result of not eating a well balanced diet. You can bet, that if you eat more sugary high fat foods than healthy, you are likely suffering from some degree of malnutrition.
Enjoy Your Exercise!
If you are healthy enough to have a consistent exercise regimen, then by all means, make you sure you pick an exercise that you will enjoy and can be done year round. It will serve you no purpose to begin a routine that can not be a healthy part of your lifestyle. For instance, Mixed Martial Arts might be fun in the early stages where you might begin learning basic grappling skills, and then you find that all the fun disappeared the first time you got punched in the nose or slammed to the mat by your sparring partner. This may be at the extreme in making a point, but I hope you get the point in picking a routine where you can do it about anytime consistently and will always enjoy it and the health benefits going forward.
Take It Slow!
If you are obese, the odds are that you did not get that way over night. Therefore do not place an unneeded stress on yourself in trying to lose the body fat in a matter of a couple of weeks or months. A rapid weight loss is not reasonable or healthy and will only cause you possible health issues, lots of loose skin and a lack of adaption to the new you before reaching goal weight. Make your weight loss journey and maintenance a lifestyle over something you just do in order to look better. Make this about being healthy over being skinny.
Your body will want to go back to being heavy even if you take your weight loss slow and easy, but the longer you take to lose your weight, the less will impact you. Once you achieve your goal weight, do not think you are done, At this time, reevaluate where you are and decide if you are at a healthy weight and body fat percentage. Body fat being the larger issue as you can actually be light in weight, yet be skinny fat. Skinny fat is where your body is slender and does not weigh a lot, but it is also very soft from an abundance of body fat and too little lean muscle mass.
In summary, educate yourself in nutrition and in the most efficient way to meet your body fat/weight goals. Have a realistic plan going forward after reaching goal. Make your weight loss journey and then maintenance a lifestyle of healthy living instead of a temporary state of just trying to make a goal. Believe in yourself, trust in yourself, and do right for yourself. With planning and forethought, your stressing will not be as intense and your chances of permanent success will only be greater.
God bless, and thank you for reading. From the bottom of my heart, we truly appreciate each and everyone who takes the time to follow my blog. Brenda and I are both honored and humbled by the tremendous support we receive at David’s Way. We promise to continue to bring you quality content as quality will always be of more import than quantity.